• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

Midway announces record year before first home game

THE MIDWAY UNIVERSITY women’s golf team picked up right where it left off in the 2015-16 season. After winning the conference title last spring, the Eagles won their first event of the 2016-17 season, the Bluegrass Fall Invitational, which was played at Cherry Blossom Golf and Country Club on Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 29 and 30. (Photo courtesy Midway University Athletics)

In less than four months’ time, Midway University’s Athletics Department has had the largest increase in student athletes and largest growth of additional sports in its history. The entire athletic roster increased to 258 student athletes, which is a 169 percent change over last year’s total roster of 96. With the addition of four men’s athletic teams and the addition of cross country and tennis for women, the university now offers 14 different team sports compared to eight last year. “This marks a significant milestone for the university,” said Dr. John P. Marsden, president of Midway University. “When our board voted in May to transition our traditional undergraduate programs to coeducation, we knew that adding male athletic teams would be one way we would grow. However, we had no idea at that time that we would absorb men’s athletic teams from St. Catharine’s College.” Midway added men’s baseball, basketball and soccer and hired coaches for those teams from St. Catharine College. Golf was also added to complete the expansion of men’s athletics for this season along with bringing back women’s cross country and tennis. “I can’t say if anything like this has ever happened to another school, but for Midway it is historic and record-breaking,” said William “Rusty” Kennedy, Midway athletics director. “We are years ahead of where we thought we would be just a few weeks ago when we were developing our strategic plan based on the decision to go co-ed – that plan soon got lost on my desk as we worked to figure out new schedules for all of our teams.” Marsden noted that Kennedy and all of his coaching staff worked tirelessly this summer, along with many other offices on campus, to get the student-athletes enrolled on time, moved in, uniforms and equipment ordered, and yes, solving the mystery of where the baseball team would play. Midway has signed an agreement to use Chandler Field at the Woodford County Park in Versailles as its home field this season. Last week, both the women’s and men’s golf teams began their seasons. Here’s a recap of their first tournaments. Women’s Golf The Midway women’s golf team took a six-shot lead into the second round and the cushion was more than enough as they won the Bluegrass Fall Invitational at Cherry Blossom Golf & Country Club on Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 29 and 30. After shooting a 330 in the opening round on Monday, the Eagles followed that up with a 338 in Tuesday’s round, en route to a two-round total of 668. The 668 was good enough for first place, as the team defeated Georgetown, who nearly matched the Eagles with a 339 in the final round, by seven strokes. Midway’s “B” team finished in third place with a 699 overall. “I’m so happy for these young ladies, they are starting to see how good they can be when they play with passion and for each other,” said Midway head coach Otis Smith. “They are understanding that you have to play all 18 holes no matter how you start, and if you keep grinding, you can accomplish some amazing things.” True freshman Hannah Scroggins overcame a four-shot deficit in the second round to take home the individual title. Scroggins shot an 83 in the first round, but came out and fired the low round of the tournament with a 4-over 76 en route to being the individual medalist in her first-ever collegiate tournament. Junior Kathryn Lawler entered the second round in second place looking to erase a three-shot deficit. Lawler finished with an 82 in the opening round and completed her second round with an 81 for a 163 and second place overall. Sophomore Rylee Beard came in three shots behind Lawler in fourth place. Beard stayed consistent throughout the tournament with an 82 in the first round and an 84 in the second round. Chelsea Schack came into the final round with a three-shot lead. Schack had a tough start to the day, but finished with an 89 today to finish in a tie for sixth place and helped the team secure the win. Scroggins, Lawler, Beard, and Schack were all named to the All-Tournament team. Amanda Cox and Kayla Meredith both showed improvement in their second round. Cox jumped four spots on the leaderboard with an 84 in the second round after a 92 in the first round. Cox finished in ninth place. After shooting a 95 in the opening round, Meredith came back and fired an 89. The lone senior on the team, Katie Coyle finished the tournament in 10th place. Coyle finished with an 87 in the first round and had a 93 in final round. Juniors Mercedes Lane and Kelsey Whitehouse finished with a two-day total of 179 and 180, respectively, while Taylor Ritchie finished with a 95 for a tournament total of 188, and Jasmine Valentine finished with a 200 over the two rounds. Men’s Golf The Midway University men’s golf team came from behind in the second round and finished in second place at the Bluegrass Fall Invitational at Cherry Blossom Golf & Country Club, which was held Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 29 and 30. After trailing second place Cincinnati Christian (Ohio) by two strokes heading into Tuesday’s second round, the Eagles erased the deficit and finished in second place in their first-ever tournament with a two-round total of 611. Georgetown won the event with a two-day total of 587. “The men came out today on a mission to win,” said Smith. “They wanted to create some history by winning the first ever event in Midway men’s golf history. I’m so proud of what each player accomplished today. Creating history and being the first to do something is a big deal. I’m glad I was able to witness it today, and I’m looking forward to even more success going forward.” Senior Cole Ballard entered the final round in third place after shooting a 73 in the first round. Ballard fired a 75 and finished in fourth with a 148 overall. Ballard was named to the All-Tournament Team. Logan Medley showed improvement in the second round and jumped up six places on the leaderboard. Medley shot a 78 in the opening round and followed that up with a 74 to tie for eighth place. Sophomore Brandon Cambron also showed improvement over the two-day tournament. Cambron, finished his first round with a 78 and came out in his final round and fired a 75 to finish in a tie for 13th. Granville Hayes was consistent in both rounds, shooting a 79 in the first round and a 79 in his final 18 holes. Luke Mattingly and Shaun Gordon both finished the tournament with a 174 overall each, while senior Andrew Chambers and sophomore Justin Graham each finished the tournament with a 180. Donald Luke Birkes rounded out the scoring for Midway with a 36-hole total of a 191. (Information provided by Midway University Communications and by Dylan Brown, Midway University sports information director.)

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